I see those things pop up on my Newsfeed like clockwork every morning in November, people listing daily what they are thankful for. I’ve never really done that, mainly because I don’t know if 3/4 of the people reading my newsfeed really even care what 30-something things I am thankful for, and maybe because it just feels a bit too invasive and self-serving for me.
But today as I watched Canine Companions Graduations on breaks at work and when I got home, I felt I should state the (very) obvious: I am so thankful for my dog. Cassius doesn’t make the hard stuff go away or all the painful ness of having a disability go away, but he sure is a help.
I dropped my earbuds on the floor today when I was trying to put them in my drawer after a break and missed. When you are like me and have the combination of eye issues and balance/mobility problems, honestly finding what you dropped is a challenge in itself! But not for CassiusThe Retriever. Picking up things and carrying them places is FUN!
So with Cassius’s help, I got myself out of that annoying situation and got back to work with minimal pain and frustration. For that I am ever-so thankful.
This weekend was the Annual Canine Companions for Independence (I said it right! Trying not to say CCI, at their request, is tough!)
We had a great day and a half saying hi to new and old friends (and when you’re a well-trained Labrador/Golden, everyone is a friend), getting training tips, learning about new programs, and just socializing.
Of course, the highlight of the day was the costume contest! I decided that Cassius had to be something (someone?) literary, and wanted to re-use his costume… so he was Curious George! He was a good sport about it, and won Best Dog Costume! I will enjoy the water bottle and Cassius will undoubtedly appreciate the toys and treat!
That bit of Canine Companions goodness will hold us over for the workweek ahead, which for us starts tomorrow afternoon – No rest for the weary, I guess!
My dog is, if I do say so myself, is genetically superior. Descended from long lines of sweet, obedient and wickedly smart Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers, he is smart, devoted, and hard-working (as long as he gets his beauty rest!) He is, however, missing one pretty crucial and breed-defining characteristic: he despises getting wet. If it is raining (which is rare these days, California seems to be in a permanent drought), he eagerly waits for me to put on his raincoat, huddles close under our large golf umbrella (when I can use it, it’s hard with strength and coordination issues to manage both dog and umbrella!) and generally hopes this wetness will be over soon. Somewhere, his water-retrieving ancestors are ashamed. He can lay by the pool on a loose leash with no fears he will jump in. I think he tries to pretend the water isn’t there! I see photos of doggie pool parties, and wonder what would win out: peer pressure or lack of desire to get wet?!
We spent last weekend at the beach, I ventured into the water a bit (mostly the pool, the ocean was a bit cold!), Cassius kept watch from the safety of his blanket, undoubtedly hoping that he would not be required to do anything involving getting wet. Luckily for all involved, he ended his weekend dry and relaxed.
But his look in the first photo is hysterically accurate “The nice warm sand is perfectly fine – please no closer to the water, mom…”
When you’re a dog who works in a library and the summer reading program just happens to be animal-themed… how can you resist a photo op by the display?
It’s funny how many people randomly say that to me, as they pass Cassius and I. I guess he just sends off “good dog” vibes… or he’s just so darn adorable that people can’t imagine he would be bad! His expression in this photo really captures his personality. He is a very good dog , indeed.
For your puppy fix for the next eight weeks (if you are so inclined) Eukanuba and Canine Companions for Independence are doing another puppy cam!
It runs from 9 am – 9 pm PST. Perfect way to decompress from my first week of work at my new job (which is another post entirely).
Live streaming video by Ustream
I could write a long-winded post… but this picture speaks for itself.
Spent a wonderful day at Canine Companions for Independence Northwest Region Graduation/Matriculation yesterday, watching ten new teams graduate and catching up with people including Cassius’ puppyraiser. I love how much Cassius loves “his” people, no matter how long it’s been since he’s seen them. If you love him, Cassius loves you. The ceremony always fills me with renewed hope, and a passion to volunteer and spread awareness of the amazing things this community does.
But really, Cassius has made this past year and my life so much better. He’s an awesome sidekick, a wonderful help, and will always bring a bit of levity to my life. You can’t help but smile when confronted with 70 pounds of wagging goofiness. Here’s to many more.
A few rather un-related dog things of interest: ThreadStart, an apparel crowdfunding site, has paired with Canine Companions for Independence and produced this wonderful design. I love it, especially since I do think these dogs (and all service dogs) are indeed heros in their own right. What they do is so diverse, depending on the needs of their partners, but their loyalty and joy are truly heroic. I picked up a shirt, because a. you can’t have too many dog t-shirts, apparently and b. I love the design so much! I will wear it proudly.
And in other news:
If you’ve been watching the Olympics on NBC, you have probably seen the promos for a new television show called “Growing Up Fisher” – featuring a father who is blind and has a (really cute) guide dog. I myself am particularly fond of the one where it cuts to the dog acting as an ice hockey goalie.
I probably don’t have to tell you how abysmal the overall depiction of characters with disabilities is on television. It’s just… bad. I have measured hopes for this one, from the previews it looks really, really funny. I hope it lives up to its potential for a comedic take on life with a disability.
And I hope the dog gets lots of screen time!
I’d say both Cassius and I are extremely happy with each other. Love.
Well, Cassius just observed. Realized this is only his second “real” Christmas since he was in Advanced Training last year and didn’t experience a true family Christmas. I think he thought this whole putting ornaments on the tree was rather bemusing.